Superior Book Productions

February 23, 2010

 

Available here as a Kindle e-book at Amazon

The Guy
John Reyer Afamasaga
ET Fiction 2010
ISBN:  9780980348699

Reality and Fiction Butt Heads in newest LMLA-Ink story, “The Guy”
5 stars ****

Readers of John Reyer Afamasaga’s multi-faceted etfiction stories that include “Lazoo” and the “GUIOPERA” will little anticipate the extremes of playing with reality and fiction that occur in “The Guy.”

The story begins when The Guy and Ms. Ish, aka “The Girl” flee to Neon City, or are they there to serve a higher purpose? The Guy is a Conceptualizer for John Reyer Afamasaga’s storytelling crew LMLA-ink. The Girl is his muse, whom he cannot inspire with his work here on planet earth, so he escapes with her to a place not so factual, not dissimilar to a dream—the SenFenide Dimension, where the gravitational pull of ideals, is less weighty, and where he manages to see the entity Ish, the divine being, who actually drew him to her in reality.

The Girl has a dream, in which she is required to become a prostitute. Her action sets the scene for a battle between the wickedly unparalleled Country, and the Guy.

The plot is likened to a parody where the cast takes control of the storyline, dragging it to wherever it suits them when they enter into a scene. The scene is similar to a video game, but one where the players reprogram the game as they play it. “The Guy” is not only fast-paced but full of zany and sometimes irreverent humor; its plot has multiple twists and turns, yet the reader is never quite lost, but rather left stunned by looking back to where its masterful crafting began.

The novel appears to introduce a host of new characters, but several old ones are masquerading as someone else. Afamasaga’s use of “scenes”—far more than the “scenes” we expect in a novel, create almost a time-warp style, a sort of quantum physics feel to his fiction, that is difficult to explain and only to be experienced by reading—or should I say—being sucked into the story or scene. Readers of Afamasaga’s earlier works will agree that “The Guy” is the most complicated, yet fascinating play with reality yet by the creator of ET Fiction. Book 2 of the story especially excels in revisiting earlier scenes in Book 1, as if we are watching a rewound story simultaneously with a new one. Again, the story simply has to be experienced.

Afamasaga never forgets he is playing a literary game, and he obviously has a great deal of fun doing so. From a diner where the patrons gather although there is no cook, to a whorehouse where the prostitutes are mistreated but still like what they do, and finally to characters whose deaths reflect their just deserves, there is no lack of irony or humor.

The novel’s visual aspects would lend the story well to film. Afamasaga also is a great fan of contemporary music, which inspires him, and he is not afraid to credit that influence and how the soundtrack of our lives can affect people. Songs such as “One Headlight” by the Wallflowers, “To Really Love a Woman” by Bryan Adams, and music by Amy Winehouse are continually heard by the characters, toying with and illuminating their thoughts as if they are in a music video or even a contemporary rock opera.

While Afamasaga demands close attention from his readers and some reading between the lines, the stories grow upon the reader until he gives himself up to the dizzying, head-spinning flow of multiple characters whose lives and worlds overlap, and the reader is left questioning his or her own concept of reality. I would not be surprised if first time readers go on to read “Lazoo,” “WIPE,” and Afamasaga’s many other works to gain the full flavor of the characters, their multiple appearances, and the masterly intertextual maze of John Reyer Afamasaga’s work.

Read John Reyer Afamasaga's interview about "The Guy."

More information about John Reyer Afamasaga and his novels can be found at www.etfiction.com

— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of the award-winning “Narrow Lives”

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